CEA Handbook


The Corporate Esports Association (CEA) is how companies can use esports for team-building and charity. Tournaments are friendly but competitive, and we take care of all the details so you can focus on having a great time.

CEA leadership brings over a decade of experience organizing corporate esports.

Read This First

  • Join the Discord server
  • Anyone can play who works full time at your company during the span of the season. This includes interns and contractors.
  • You can ask your opponent to reschedule any match, but they don't have to say yes. If there's no way to find a time that works, the default match time is 10:00AM, 11:00 AM, or Noon on Saturdays depending on the tournament.
  • If your company has multiple teams in a single tournament, you can have floaters between them. Please read the more verbose rules in Team Eligibility below.
  • If your company doesn't have enough players to form a team, ask us about joining with one other company to make a Joint-Team.
  • The CEA utilizes multiple tournament systems including Swiss-system tournament structure, a Round Robin stage, and a single elimination playoffs.

Note: while this Handbook is full of really useful information, please note that anything in a game-specific rulebook takes precedence over what is present here.


All official CEA updates will be posted in our Discord server. If you have any questions, post in #help-and-feedback.

CEA Fall 2022 Season Calendar

The season calendar for Fall 2022 will be:

  • September 10: Preseason (Week 0)
  • September 17: Week 1
  • September 24: Week 2
  • October 1: Week 3
  • October 8: Week 4
  • October 15: Week 5
  • October 22: Week 6
  • October 29: Week 7
  • November 5: Week 8
  • November 12: Week 9 Some games begin playoffs here
  • November 19: Week 10 Some games begin playoffs here
  • November 26: OFF (American Thanksgiving)
  • December 3: Week 11 Some games begin playoffs here
  • December 10: Week 12
  • December 17: Grand Finals

CEA Season Format Overview

  • Pre-Season: One practice match which follows the same rules and weekly structure as the regular season. The pre-season is mandatory so that the CEA and teams can work out logistic kinks before charity prizes are on the line! Read the specific game rules for the weekly schedule.
  • Regular Season: The Regular Season will run for 7-9 weeks depending on the game and will be a non-elimination tournament format (Swiss or Round Robin).
  • Playoffs: Top teams will compete in a single elimination tournament bracket. Playoff matches typically include more games per match than the regular season. Check the game rules for more info. Some matches later in the playoffs may be professionally cast.
  • The Grand Finals of all games will be broadcast live on Twitch with professional commentators. Schedule and rough timing will be announced at the beginning of Playoffs. Matches will be played online and we may host official in-person viewing parties in select cities.

Weekly Structure of the League

  • Matches will be distributed each week on Monday. Please refer to the game rules for each specific game as some games have additional weekly structure such as map announcement and lineup submission deadlines. All deadlines are 11:59:59 pm Pacific unless otherwise specified.
  • On Wednesday, lineup and replay submissions are due. Refer to your individual game rules to see if your game requires a lineup or replay submission.
  • Each team plays one match per week with results due by Sunday at 4pm Pacific. The CEA observes Daylight Saving Time. If not enough players on your roster are able to make the default match time, contact the opposing captain as outlined in our ‘Match rescheduling’ section to see if they’re able to accommodate a reschedule.
  • See "Match Rescheduling" below for more details on playing matches outside the allotted window.
  • Rosters may not be edited in the 24 hours prior to a match's scheduled time.

Code of Conduct

The CEA community strives to be a fun environment for everyone inside and outside of the league. Please follow these simple guidelines:

  • Help anytime you can.

  • Have fun.
  • Be nice.
  • Respect all players and teams (both publicly and privately).
  • Keep interactions safe for work.

  • Do not disparage companies, their employees, or products.

  • Contact organizers privately if you have a complaint about other players or teams.

Being a Captain

  • A good team captain can make or break a team’s experience in the CEA. In the past, successful captains report that their responsibilities can take a few hours per week. Make sure you’re up for the commitment or find help!
  • Your team should always have a captain. If you need to sit out for a week, or take a step back for the rest of the season let your game lead know and please help us find a suitable substitute during that time. It is not uncommon for captainless teams to be needlessly penalized due to an inability to communicate.
  • Creating and Registering a Team

    • Select a team name, which must include your company name. If your company will have multiple teams you will also need an additional identifier (e.g. Stark Industries Alpha). Do not use your company logo or other trademarks without obtaining written permission.

    • You may choose to ask your company to cover your team's registration fee. If you do so, we've included a sample letter to management that you may choose to use.
    • Select a 501(c)(3) charity which will receive a donation on your behalf if your team does well enough. Check if your company has preferred charities.

    • Pay the registration fee through the http://cea.gg site for your specific game and season. Once paid, you will receive additional information as well as next steps for joining the tournament on our tournament management platform.

    • The team captain is not required to play but must be on the roster.

    • There are no caps on the number of teams per company.

  • Weekly Duties
    • Setting up practice times and scrimmages as desired.

    • Ensuring all the players show up on time for their matches.

    • Ensuring matches are properly recorded (if required in game rules).

    • Handling disputes between players and bringing disputes to the attention of the CEA organizers when necessary.

    • Organizing and submitting the player lineups (as required in game rules).

    • Ensuring all players are still full time employees. Players may not continue playing after termination and teams caught using ineligible players will be removed from competition with further penalties likely to be applied.

General Rules

The following rules apply to all games sanctioned by the CEA. Anytime you have a question about rules, or what you should do in a situation first make sure you're following Wheaton's Law - "Don't be a dick." The CEA reserves the right to optionally issue verbal or written warnings that may lead to penalties, including game or match losses at the sole discretion of the organizer.

Playing on multiple teams or companies (Floaters)

In general, any player may play on any single team at that player's company or collegiate institution, in a single tournament.

Floater policy: Within the same company or collegiate institution and within the same game's tournament, a player may play on multiple rosters with the following restrictions:

      1. All teams must meet the minimum team size without counting any players who are listed on multiple teams.

      2. Shared players still count towards a team’s maximum roster size.
      3. A player on multiple rosters may only play for one of those teams of each game in any given week. Violation of this rule will lead to disqualification from the CEA.

      4. If a company or collegiate institution elects to have floaters for any of its games, a representative of the company should inform that game's Game Lead which rosters are affected, and inform the game lead each week which team that floater will play on.
      5. The maximum number of floaters allowed across a company's teams in a particular tournament depends on the number of teams that company or collegiate institution has in the tournament as well as the minimum roster size for that tournament, and is as follows:
# of Teams Maximum # of Floaters (minimum roster 3-4) Maximum # of Floaters (minimum roster 5-6)










Each floater may be rostered on no more than 3 teams. Each team may have no more than 1 floater for games with minimum roster size 3-4. Each team may have no more than 2 floaters for games with minimum rosters size 5-6.

Cross-Game policy: Within the same company, players are typically discouraged from playing on teams across multiple games. Doing so may be allowed at Game Leads' discretion as long as the following criteria are met:

      1. All teams must meet the minimum team size without counting any players who are listed on multiple teams.
      2. Teams should understand that relying on a Cross-Game player's availability is not a suitable reason to reschedule a match (all matches occur at Noon Pacific on Saturday by default)
      3. A Cross-Game player should not plan to be a primary player on more than 1 team.

Half-Team / Joint-Team Policy:

      1. A Joint-Team may consist of members from different companies if the following criteria are met:
        1. There are no more than 2 companies represented on the team.
        2. The companies represented are not represented in any other teams in a single game's tournament.
      2. A Joint-Team is subject to all other rules normally surrounding CEA teams.
      3. A Joint-Team may have 1 single captain from either company, or may have 2 captains total (1 from each company).
      4. Registering:
        1. Two Half-Teams may combine and register as a Joint-Team through the normal registration process without first consulting CEA. Please list both companies on the registration form.
        2. Half-Teams may also consult CEA for help with pairing, and upon being paired will register as a Joint-Team through the normal registration process.

Streaming and Observing

Players may stream their matches or have others stream for them. Stream cheating is not allowed and using a stream delay is encouraged to avoid the temptation. Observers able to see both teams' perspectives are discouraged and require the explicit approval of both captains or their Game Lead. Observers who are limited by the game settings to view only one team’s perspective only need the approval of the team that they observe. In the case of limited observing slots, slots must be shared equally between teams.

Regardless of the observer's perspective, teams are not allowed to communicate with observers in-game (via text chat, voice chat, or anything else) with the exception of CEA staff, or CEA designated referees. In-game coaching is forbidden.


CEA official updates are conducted through email and Discord. Team captains and their designated alternates must be available on the CEA Discord server, and match-related communication between teams should also occur on that platform. Players are strongly encouraged to be in the Discord server as well.

Discord should also be the primary method of contacting CEA administrators, using #help-and-feedback and tagging the appropriate administrator or player.

Match Rescheduling

Matches are scheduled at 12pm pacific every Saturday. The CEA observes Daylight Saving Time. We request that teams generally keep the 12 - 1pm pacific window on Saturday open and attempt to accommodate reschedule requests within this window, as explained below. Reschedules should be used as a last resort when not enough players on the roster are able to make the default match time.

A reschedule request should be submitted by the team captain to the opposing captain in writing. Opposing captains are under no obligation to accommodate any request. If both captains agree on a new time they must both notify the organizers via #reschedule-reporting in Discord no later than 1pm pacific on the Thursday before the match and also notify organizers via Discord when they are ready to start the rescheduled match. CEA staff may not be available to assist with issues outside of the Saturday 12 - 1pm window.

After playing the match, post the match results to #reschedule-reporting on Discord and indicate that an organizer needs to enter the result.

No-shows and Forfeits

If a team is unable to play within 15 minutes of the scheduled time, that team automatically forfeits the match. The time period for no-shows may be extended by the captain of the opposing team in writing.

If a team partially fails to show up by fifteen (15) minutes after the scheduled time, captains should ensure that the situation is documented with screenshots and chat logs. Teams must choose between:

Team Games

        1. Playing without the absent members if the game allows.

        2. Forfeiting the first game (regardless of Bo1, Bo3, or Bo5). In a Bo3 or Bo5 this will provide the partially-present team an additional 30 minutes for the rest of their team to arrive. If players don't show up within this time, the team may again choose to play with the currently present members or forfeit the rest of the match.

1v1 Games

        1. Matches default to being played in series (one after another) and in the order of lineup submission. If the missing player is scheduled to play first, they forfeit their game and the next players have a 15 minute grace period before their match begins​. Two or more forfeits in this way result in an automatic match loss.

In the event both teams have arrived to play, but one team fails to join the match lobby within the later of twenty (20) minutes after the scheduled match time and five (5) minutes after both teams communicated being ready to play, the opposing captain may submit documentation (screenshots and chat logs) to claim a victory by forfeit as follows:

      1. In the event of a team game, the opposing captain should provide notice they will be submitting documentation for a victory by forfeit. At this time, the team may still elect to play short-handed.

      2. In the event of a 1v1 game, the opposing captain should provide notice to their opponent's captain that they are submitting documentation for a victory by forfeit.

Teams may opt to forfeit a match at any time with the consent of their team's members. In this case please notify the organizers and opposing captain in Discord using #forfeit-reporting.

Teams which forfeit multiple consecutive weeks and do not respond to messages from the organizers may be removed from the season without a refund.

Match Reporting

The winning team’s captain must submit results to the tournament management platform no later than 4pm pacific time on Sunday. Failure to submit results will lead to a warning for the winning team and in some cases a double loss. We strongly encourage the winner of each game to record screenshots of the post-game lobby victory screen and save the replay.

Scoring and Ranking

During Swiss, teams will be ranked by W/L record. For games with a best of 2 format, teams will instead be ranked and paired by points as explained in tiebreakers below.

Ties are broken by these factors (in order):

1. Points: 3 per Win, 0 Per Loss, 1 Per Tie

2. Game Score Differential

3. Bucholz Tiebreakers

Teams which achieve the number of wins listed for their individual game will automatically qualify for playoffs in the order in which they achieved this win count. They will be removed from regular Swiss pairings for the following weeks. If multiple teams achieve this final win in the same week, seeds will be determined by additional matches in the following weeks. If there are not enough weeks to play these matches, ties will be broken by Swiss tiebreakers at the end of the regular season.

Technical Issues

Teams are responsible for their own technical issues including hardware and internet. Matches will not be rescheduled because of player side technical issues and will continue after pauses (as provided in game specific rules) are exhausted even if the issue is not yet resolved.

Pauses may not be used to grief opponents or to strategically provide an advantage. Remember to take screenshots and video if you believe pauses are being abused.

In the event of technical issues with the game servers an attempt will be made or reschedule and replay the match. The CEA organizers may assign a tie (half-win) if, at their sole discretion, the match cannot reasonably be rescheduled.

Questions and Disputes

We strongly encourage players to take videos or screenshots of gameplay, score screens, and chat logs with timestamps enabled as well as save replays (where applicable) to use in the event of a conflict.

Mention the game lead and/or admins with an @ on Discord in #help-and-feedback channel if you require assistance during the season.

To minimize post-game conflict, if there is an event that either team suspects to be disputed, pause the game if possible and reach out to your Game Lead immediately. DO NOT CONTINUE PLAY. While Game Leads reserve the right to overturn results, it is in everybody's best interest to resolve issues during the game rather than post-game.

A team may submit a dispute within 12 hours in the event that they believe their opponents broke any of the game rules, the referee unfairly awarded a win to their opponents upon an in-game disconnect, referee or opponents did anything that violates the spirit of the rules, or that the incorrect match result was submitted. CEA organizers will review any disputes.

All participants must adhere to the decisions and rules of the tournament organizers, admins, and referees. All decisions are final, except in cases where the option to appeal is clearly stated. Conversations, either verbal or written, between organizers, admins, or referees, and participants are confidential. Publicly posting or sharing these conversations with outside parties is strictly forbidden, unless permission is obtained.

If an agreement to change a rule is made between captains, ensure the agreement is saved in writing in case a disagreement arises. Such agreements between captains should remain consistent for the duration of the match.

Unforeseen Circumstances

The CEA reserves the right to change these rules and to make additional decisions outside the defined rule set as necessary. Rule changes will be posted on the CEA Discord and all relevant parties notified.

Cheating and misconduct

If you, as a Player, sincerely believe that your opponent:

- cheated,

- exhibited behaviour that was hostile, toxic, vulgar or otherwise unacceptable,

- or infringed on either these rules

Please follow this step by step process:

- Take screenshots or make a desktop recording the behaviour in question. Either through use of screenshot tools like Gyazo, or video encoders, such as OBS (both of which are free to use).

- Contact your Team Captain and present your evidence to them.

- Your Team Captain should then contact the Game Lead and make the case clear to them.

- The Game Lead and the CEA team will then decide what action needs to be taken, if any.

Finally, take a deep breath and take a step back. Many players in the CEA are filled with good will and a desire to have fun. Often an incident of cheating is an accident or an honest misunderstanding of the rules.

The CEA investigates thoroughly all claims of cheating. If the CEA determines that a player deliberately and knowingly violated rules set out by the CEA, the game publisher, or game platform in order to achieve an in-game advantage, that player will be removed from all CEA events for the remainder of the season. In addition:

    • All games in which the cheating player participated will be marked as a loss for the cheating player's team.
    • Other penalties will be applied as appropriate.

How Does the CEA Use Company Names and Logos?

Recognizing the value companies place on their logo and brand, the CEA strives to make only very light use of either.

The CEA will not use your logo without your written consent. Teams who post their company's logo in public-facing spaces owned by the CEA may be subject to removal from the tournament.

A company's name is used strictly to identify the teams playing for that company, and is never used to imply the views or opinions of a company. During broadcasts, we discourage discussion of specific products or services offered by companies except in a neutral, introductory, and informative manner where necessary.

The CEA is very understanding and flexible regarding IP. For more information, or to request an exception to the rules above, please let us know through the Contact form above. We typically respond within 24 hours.